November 7th, 2015 – Vancouver, WA
Add up the all of the scientific principles at play — the photons, gravity, the filters, the speed of the swinging light bulb and the length of the exposure — and what you get is a unanimous, “Whoa, that’s cool!”
Check out just how cool it is starting this Friday at Gallery 360 in downtown Vancouver. That’s where “Visions of Light,” a showing of abstract photographs by eight elementary-age kids who attend the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington, will be on display throughout November.
“Gallery 360 wanted to reach out and do some education with kids, and I came up with this idea,” said member artist Raymond Klein. “It’s sort of a camera obscura.”
That simple device, a darkened box that lets light through a small hole and amplifies it through a lens, projecting an upside-down image onto the interior wall, was the precursor of the modern photographic camera. The principles that make it work were described and tested as far back as the times of the ancient Greek philosophers.
Of course, these young photography students don’t know much about old-school devices such as “cameras.” Ask if any of them own their own cameras, and you get uncomprehending blinks … until Zamorah Frazier, 7, catches on and says she likes taking pictures with her tablet.
So Klein said he enjoys familiarizing these kids with the underlying principals of photography. He’s a retired commercial photographer who honed his skills working for the Air Force and at Cape Canaveral in Florida — where he ran banks of movie cameras that tracked rocket launches — as well as for a top Chicago photo studio. Along the way, he started developing some innovative lighting effects that draw the eye, and exploring the luminous possibilities have been his passion ever since. He has had shows and published books full of his amazing abstractions. He is also an enthusiastic teacher of alternative photographic techniques at Gallery 360 and, this fall, at the Boys & Girls Clubs’ OK Clubhouse in the Bagley Downs area.